I talk about Evernote quite a bit on here, and for good reason — it’s great! They call it your “second brain” and encourage you to load it up with all kinds of notes, photos and info for easy retrieval later. I was skeptical, because it sounded like things would become a huge mess. I have 764 notes in there so far, but it’s a breeze to find any of them very quickly, for two reasons:
- Evernote can read text inside of your images; even handwritten text! It does a remarkably good job of finding what you need.
- The search feature on the desktop version of Evernote is very fast. It works iTunes-style, where it whittles down your search results with each character that you type. As long as you know anything about the note (the title, text you added to it, text in the image, tags, etc) you can find it within seconds.
Evernote has software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Palm Pre, Windows Mobile and a web version, and they all stay synced together. The ease of viewing your notes from ANY platform is the killer feature.
The challenge I’ve often had is coming up with new ideas on what I can use it for. I’ve gotten better over time, and here are some of the things I’ve added to it recently:
- Receipt from renewing my business for 2011 (copy/pasted from their website when the transaction was complete)
- Log-in information for software I purchased for a client site
- Notes from a phone call with a potential client. Whenever I’m on the phone I open a new note in Evernote and keep notes right there.
- I made major changes to a client website through their CMS, so I copied the source code from the old page before I overwrote it, just in case I needed to revert later.
- A quick list of hex colors used on a client site.
- A photo of the instructions on how to assemble a crazy little toy that my 4-year-old got in her Happy Meal. If she comes back later with a pile of pieces in her hand, I can be the hero that puts it back together!
- Notes and directions to a trip I took the family to last weekend.
- A photograph of a recipe that my wife wanted to remember.
- My “person ID” for the YMCA. Who knows when I might randomly need that.
- The model and serial number for my fridge. I just had it repaired, and now that info is handy in case I need it again.
- The prescription for my new glasses.
- Old mx records for a client, in case they needed to revert later.
- An always-tweaked “gift ideas for my wife” note.
- My AirTran rewards number.
- My flight info for a trip last December. I could delete it now, but why worry about it?
- A photo of the serial number of my Chrome OS laptop. It’s a pain to get to it (shut down computer, remove battery), so after I had to dig for it once I snapped a photo of it so I’d have it for later.
- A photo of the program of a recital my daughter sang in. I recorded it, but likely wouldn’t know where the program was when I got around to creating the video of it. This way, I can label the songs with the right names in the video.
- A whole slew of business cards. I also add some of them to my contacts if I think I’ll be contacting them soon, but I always snap a photo of their card.
- Photo of a birthday invitation that one of our daughters was invited to.
You get the idea. Now I need your help — what other cool ways do you use Evernote? I’m always looking to add more to it, so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
If you don’t use Evernote, I’m curious why not. It’s free, and works on virtually any device that you might be using. Do you use something else instead? Perhaps SpringPad?